Yoga therapy provides the vital integration of mind, body, and spirit to heal the whole person. Therapeutic Yoga makes that accessible to everyone. At APH, we understand that Yoga isn’t “one size fits all". Based on your individual goals and history, we will create yoga sessions to meet your needs. In addition, we will teach you breath management techniques that will help build resilience. Using strategically placed props, less tension is created in the poses, which helps quiet the breath and calm the mind. The practitioner is also better able to increase flexibility, strength and balance without the fear of being injured. Using support doesn't mean collapsing into the pose. On the contrary, using props as feedback provides valuable information about what your unique needs are, and allows you to work more efficiently in the pose. Some of the props that may be used include: blocks, belts, rope wall, chair, blankets and bolsters.
Here are some of the benefits of Therapeutic Yoga:
1. Makes poses accessible to everyone.
2. Helps you learn the skills necessary to maintain proper alignment in a non- threatening way.
3. Prevents injuries and helps old injuries heal.
4. Creates space in the spine and provides joint stability.
5. Promotes balance by encouraging weaker areas to strengthen and less flexible areas to lengthen.
6. Allows the poses to be held longer so that all of its benefits can be felt.
From a Western perspective, yoga therapy helps harmonize the two branches of the autonomic nervous system and establish hormonal balance. The sympathetic system is responsible for the fight or flight response, whereas the parasympathetic system drives the rest and digest response. Both states are crucial for health and wellness. Yoga is able to soothe the nervous system and stimulates the rest and digest response. Recognizing the role of chronic emotional stress in degenerative diseases, Western doctors are now advocating the practice of mind-body therapies like yoga and meditation for stress management. By reducing the physiological stress response through mind-body therapies like yoga, we bring the body into better overall hormonal and nervous system balance.
The following is what you can expect from your yoga sessions at APH:
This evaluation will determine the level of impairment, any restrictions due to previous injuries, joint mobility, flexibility, and any balance issues. We will also assess your breathing efficiency. We breathe between 20,000 to 25,000 times daily. How you breathe matters! If you mouth-breathe or over breathe (which is at a rate faster than 8 times a minute), your brain has diminished Oxygen. This means a diminished ability for your body to function optimally and recover properly.
We will find out your specific goals and determine how to best achieve those goals using the following steps:
Stage 1: Evaluate and address any breathing and core stability issues. If breathing is dysfunctional, the core cannot fire properly; without core stability, other parts of the body (i.e. shoulders and hips) will become less mobile in an attempt to create stability.
Stage 2: Improve mobility, strength and balance issues using an individualized therapeutic yoga program. We will also incorporate any additional corrective exercises needed in order to bring balance to the body.
Stage 3: Provide integrative functional movement patterns to help improve your quality of life and avoid re-injury.